Graduate Catalog
Degree Programs

General Information

The Campus

Arkansas Tech University, with its spacious 516-acre campus, is located on the northern edge of the city of Russellville. This growing community, with a population of approximately 24,000, is ideally situated between the mountains of the Ozark National Forest on the north and those of the Ouachita National Forest on the south. It is midway between the state’s two largest population centers, Fort Smith, 85 miles to the west, and Little Rock, 75 miles to the east. Interstate Highway 40 passes just north of the campus and connects these two cities.

Arkansas Tech University’s Lake Point Conference Center is located west of Russellville and is home to the College of Professional Studies and Community Outreach and offers both credit and non-credit programs. Adjacent to Lake Point Conference Center is the Center for Leadership and Learning, a part of the Graduate College, where graduate degrees in school leadership are offered. The Center for Leadership and Learning serves as an outreach to public schools of the area. Lake Point is nestled on Lake Dardanelle in a beautiful wooded setting and offers private guest rooms, elegant and casual food service, unique amenities and spectacular views from every building. Lake Point Conference Center can accommodate a wide variety of meetings, training, conferences, retreats, as well as business and social functions.

In addition, Russellville is the crossroads of activity for State Highways 7, 22, 64, and 124. The historic natural crossing of the Arkansas River at Dardanelle is four miles to the south. The navigable river forms a 36,600 acre lake with 315 miles of shoreline behind a lock and dam located just southwest of the city. The Missouri Pacific Railroad passes through the city and parallels the river between Little Rock and Fort Smith.

Russellville is the county seat of Pope County. Historic Dwight Mission, established by the American Board of Foreign Missions among the Cherokee Indians in 1821, was located a short distance west of the campus of Arkansas Tech University on Illinois Bayou, where that stream is now crossed by Highway 64. Descendants of Cephas Washburn, the intrepid missionary who founded the mission and named it for Timothy Dwight of Yale, live in Russellville at the present time.

Arkansas Tech University is in the center of an area experiencing vigorous industrial development as evidenced by the growth of local industry and the number of national concerns locating plants in the area. Arkansas Nuclear One, the first nuclear power plant completed in the Southwest, and a second nuclear power unit have been constructed near Russellville by Entergy, thus assuring continued industrial growth. Headquarters for District 9 of the Arkansas Highway Department and for the Ozark – St. Francis National Forests are located in Russellville. The McClellan – Kerr Navigation Project is having a significant effect upon the development of the area. The impoundment of the Arkansas River has formed Lake Dardanelle which borders the west edge of the campus. Poultry, cattle, soybeans, cotton, and lumber are the principal money crops in the area served by Arkansas Tech University.


Arkansas Tech University was created by an act of the Arkansas General Assembly in 1909. Under the provisions of this Act, the state was divided into four Agricultural School Districts. Boards of Trustees were appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Senate, and appropriations were made for the erection of buildings and employment of a faculty for a district agricultural school in each of the four districts.

Twenty counties of northwestern Arkansas were designated as the Second District. Governor Donaghey appointed W. U. Balkman, J. R. Williams, H. S. Mobley, A. D. Shinn, and O. P. Nixon as a Board of Trustees for the Second District Agricultural School. Several towns made efforts to have the school located in their area. After considering all proposals, the Board of Trustees decided to locate it at Russellville, which had made an offer of a tract of 400 acres of land adjoining the city limits and a cash bonus of several thousand dollars.

The school opened its doors for students in the fall of 1910. The first class to graduate from the school was the high school class of 1912. In 1921-22, a freshman year of college work was offered, in 1922-23 a second year, in 1923-24 a third year, and in 1924-25 a fourth year. The General Assembly in 1925 changed the name from the Second District Agricultural School to Arkansas Polytechnic College with power to grant degrees. The class of 1925 was graduated with the degree of bachelor of science, as was the class of 1926. The effort to maintain a four-year high school and a four-year college proved beyond the resources of the institution at that time, and it became a junior college in the fall of 1927. The four years of secondary work were dropped, one year at a time, and the last high school class was the class of 1929.

Changing and increasing demands for college education in Arkansas caused the Board of Trustees in 1948 to convert the college from a junior college to a degree-granting institution. In 1948-49 the college offered the third year of college work, and in 1949-50 the fourth year, with the first baccalaureate degrees awarded at the end of the 1949-50 spring semester. A graduate program leading to the degree of master of education was established in 1976. Graduate courses were first offered by Arkansas Tech in the summer of 1975.

In accordance with an act of the Arkansas General Assembly and by the authority of the State of Arkansas Board of Higher Education, the name of Arkansas Polytechnic College was changed to Arkansas Tech University, effective July 9, 1976.

Arkansas Tech has consistently adjusted its scope to accommodate immediate and future needs. In 1985 the institution reorganized its programs into the Schools of Business, Education, Liberal and Fine Arts, Physical and Life Sciences, and Systems Science. In 1997, the School of Community Education and Professional Development was established. As part of ongoing efforts in strategic planning and a recognition of the growth and scope of the institution and its programs, the schools were renamed in 2009: College of Business, College of Education, College of Arts and Humanities, College of Natural and Health Sciences, College of Applied Sciences, and College of Professional Studies and Community Outreach.

University Vision Statement

The vision of Arkansas Tech University is to be a student-centered university of choice.

University Mission Statement (adopted February 28, 2008)

Arkansas Tech University, a state-supported institution of higher education, is dedicated to nurturing scholastic development, integrity, and professionalism. The University offers a wide range of traditional and innovative programs which provide a solid educational foundation for life-long learning to a diverse community of learners.

Graduate College Vision & Mission Statement (adopted May 2010)

The vision of the Graduate College of Arkansas Tech University is to empower through advanced degrees to meet the demands of a global society through intellectual inquiry, scholarly attainment, artistic endeavors and creative pursuits within the across disiplines.

The mission of the Graduate College of Arkansas Tech University is to encourage a diversity of ideas in a climate of academic freedom and integrity. Advanced degrees are designed to complement and enhance undergraduate programs. The Graduate College strives as an advocate for graduate study. The Graduate College serves to nurture and preserve academic excellence by taking the lead in shaping policy and assisting faculty in guiding and mentoring graduate students in becoming accomplished and ethical scholars, researchers and practitioners in their discipline.

Purpose of Graduate Program

The purpose of the graduate program is to provide graduate education opportunities in professional education, sciences, technology, and the liberal arts to anyone who seeks, and who is eligible for admission to the University.

Arkansas Tech University currently offers the following graduate degrees: Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Liberal Arts, Master of Science, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Engineering, and Educational Specialist in Educational Leadership.

The University has an interest in meeting the professional growth and advancement needs of certified teachers and professionals in the service region. The Master of Education includes majors in Instructional Improvement; Educational Leadership; Elementary Education; School Counseling and Leadership; and Teaching, Learning and Leadership. Programs in Secondary Education include secondary education specializations in English, Instructional Technology, and Physical Education.

The Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership prepares school leaders for district level leadership positions and leads to district level licensure in Arkansas.

The Master of Liberal Arts offers major concentrations in Communications, Fine Arts, and Social Sciences. It is designed to serve the graduate education needs not only of certified teachers, but of anyone interested in the post-baccalaureate study of the liberal arts, including professionals with specialized undergraduate backgrounds.

The Master of Arts in English, Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), History, Teaching Early Childhood/Middle or Secondary, Spanish, and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) provide for more specialized study for students interested in these areas. It will also prepare those students interested in pursuing their doctorate.

The Master of Arts in Multi-Media Journalism offers professionals the opportunity to study journalism as impacted by the growth of technology.

The Master of Science in College Student Personnel is a two-year, practitioner-oriented program, philosophically based in college student development and university administration. It is designed to prepare thoughtful, compassionate, first-line student and university service administrators armed with the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed to begin a career in the variety of settings in which such services are needed. These include, but are not limited to, admissions counseling, advising, financial aid, orientation, housing, student programming, alumni affairs, and development.

The Master of Science in Emergency Management and Homeland Security offers a specialized program both for existing career professionals in the discipline and for those seeking the diverse employment opportunities available in this evolving career field.

The Master of Science in Fisheries and Wildlife Science offers a research-based program for those interested in the areas of fisheries and wildlife, and also serves in preparation for those pursuing the doctorate.

The Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) is a specialized program of study to serve the increasing workforce needs in the area of health information technology. The curriculum utilizes a multidisciplinary approach to include health care delivery concepts coupled with information technology in a changing environment.

The Master of Science in Information Technology provides for education in technology information management. This program has two options: (1) Computer-Based Instructional Technology in educational settings and (2) Information Technology in business settings.

The Master of Science in Psychology program is designed to provide advanced students with sufficient breadth and depth to function in a variety of professional environments.

The Master of Engineering program is designed to provide for advanced study and opportunities in project management and team leader positions. The Master of Engineering has concentration areas in Electrical, Nuclear, and Mechanical Engineering.

The Master of Science in Nursing program is designed to provide advanced study for nurses in the area of administration & emergency management.

Philosophy of Graduate Program

Arkansas Tech University holds to the principle that graduate-level scholarship should be based on highly developed habits of critical judgment, independent thinking, creative initiative, and disciplined inquiry. Successful completion of the graduate program signifies that the student has acquired the research skills of an independent scholar, with expertise in a particular field of study.

The student admitted to graduate study at Arkansas Tech University should not expect to acquire these skills and to achieve this expertise through classroom and laboratory instruction alone; rather, the student should expect to draw upon independent resources to collect, organize, and synthesize research data and information in order to achieve scholarly expertise in the chosen field of study. Graduate study, then, aids the student to acquire the skills needed to identify important problems, to establish modes of inquiry, to formulate proposed solutions, and to communicate the interpretation of scholarly and research analysis.

Administration of Graduate Program

The graduate program is administered by the Graduate College Dean who is directly responsible to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Policies governing the graduate program are developed by the Graduate Council; matters pertaining to the graduate teacher education program are reviewed and approved by the Teacher Education Council before being presented to the Graduate Council. Policies are then approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs, President of the University, and the Board of Trustees.

While every effort will be made to conform to catalog announcements, the University reserves the right to adapt its program as may be necessary.

Physical Plant

The physical plant of Arkansas Tech University is located on a tract of 533 acres near the northern boundary of the city of Russellville. Acreage provides space for varsity and intramural recreational activities, drill fields, and the University farm. The McClellan – Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System provides a freshwater lake which borders on the west edge of the campus.

All instructional programs are taught in buildings which have been specifically designed or modified to complement the projected instructional tasks. The Corley Building, expanded in 2009, provides instructional space and state of the art laboratories for engineering, computer science, and mathematics. McEver Hall, renovated and expanded in 2010, provides specialized classrooms and labs for Biological and Physical Sciences. Norman Hall, which was completed in 2007, houses the Department of Art and contains a gallery and specialized classrooms. Rothwell Hall houses Academic Advising, College of Business offices and classrooms, a trading room with a live Stock Market Ticker and Video Display Wall, and the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center. Rothwell Hall was not only completed in Arkansas Tech’s 100th year of operation (2009), but is also Tech’s 100th building.

The College of Professional Studies and Community Outreach is located at our Lake Point Conference Center which was acquired by Tech in 2006. The Center for Leadership and Learning, an academic facililty acquired in 2009, is directly across from the Lake Point Conference Center, on Highway 333.

Arkansas Tech University has several resources which lend themselves to serving the cultural and recreational needs of the University and surrounding community. The John E. Tucker Coliseum complements the instructional program by providing a modern setting for concerts, conventions, and sporting events. The Hull Physical Education building, renovated in 2001. The Witherspoon Arts and Humanities Building has a modern auditorium with a seating capacity of 742. The L.L. “Doc” Bryan Student Services Center constitutes the main facility for student services, student government, publications, and indoor recreational activities. The Arkansas Tech Museum, located in the Techionery Building, contains exhibits on archeology and early history of western Arkansas; museum lectures and events address cultural needs on the campus and in the community, and offer opportunities for students in the Parks, Recreation and Hospitality Department to become involved in interpretive activities.

Ross Pendergraft Library and Technology Center houses more than 1,195,000 items, including: 168,000 print volumes; 895,000 microforms; 115,000 government documents; 13,000 multimedia items; and 825 periodical subscriptions. Among these holdings are extensive back files of journals and newspapers. Photocopiers and microform reader-printers are available using the VendaCard system. The library is a member of AMIGOS/OCLC, a regional broker of international bibliographic data and information services. Over 140 electronic databases covering most subjects are accessible from the library and over the Internet through the Tech home page at Assistance in the retrieval and use of materials is provided by seven professional librarians, nine paraprofessional staff, and a number of part-time employees. Librarian-mediated instruction and online searches are provided on request. Materials not available in the library may be requested through our interlibrary loan system, normally at no charge. The Library is the publisher of the retrospective Arkansas Gazette Index.

Pendergraft Library is open 97 hours per week except between semesters and during holidays. The state-of-the-art facility includes a variety of computer labs (both open use and instructional), a music/multimedia lab, two distance learning classrooms, a large conference room, five breakout/meeting rooms, ten group study rooms, satellite downlink, cable TV connections, 135 publicly accessible computers, 132 lab computers, about 400 data drops for laptop computers, and access to the Tech wireless network.